Rosa Vazquez didn’t set out to get into management and, while it was never her primary ambition, her hard work at AffinEco has pushed her up the ladder. Today, she is settling in as the new Director of Operations in the New Haven, CT area – overseeing approximately 30 properties and managing more than 100 employees.
Before coming to AffinEco, Vazquez was studying to become a social worker while operating a family daycare center. She joined the company in a part-time capacity eight years ago as a route supervisor, but was quickly assigned to a single property. She stood out in that role for her ability to work successfully with the all-union staff and was promoted after making her mark at One Century Tower.
“That last building was a tough customer. It took a little while but I got it to a place where we were doing an amazing job in that building,” she said. “I got it to work and function in a way so that none of my managers had to stress about it. Everything was up-to-date, written down, and by the book.”
She says the managers of that building had been hesitant about renewing their contract with AffinEco, but that was quickly erased after she took over and improved worker output. Nelson Hernandez, who is Vazquez’s manager, likened her work with those employees to a well-behaved classroom where all the students were now lining up “nice and straight.”
“When I met [Vazquez], I noticed she had one of the best systems in place,” said Hernandez. “The way she works with her staff, the way she runs her supply closet, it was incredible. You wish you could have everybody like that.”
“I never thought I was going to become a manager from just doing regular cleaning,” Vazquez said. “But I always try to make sure I know what a customer requires. I know what their needs are and do what needs to be done to make sure they’re satisfied.”
Neither Vazquez nor Nelson think she’s reached her full potential yet.
“There’s more that I can do. I am always learning,” she said. “I always tell them, ‘You got more, give me more,’ and I’m eager to take it on.”
“She can go a lot further than where she is now. She has a lot of talent, this kid,” said Hernandez. “She does a good job and there’s never an excuse. If she finds a problem, she calls me. If a mistake has been made she corrects it. She’s a very good team player and works together with my other managers.”
Vazquez credits AffinEco not only with giving her the opportunity, but also with encouraging her to grow in her role. She points out how the company has sent her to a variety of classes and seminars to build her skills and teach her new ones.
“They are always trying to give us the opportunity to gain the knowledge of the things we have to deal with and to grow as well,” she said. “Being a female in this job can be a challenge. It’s not always easy. But they’re always giving me that extra support and I’m always happy to continue working for them.”
For as happy as Vazquez is to be with the company, Hernandez is even happier that they have hired and promoted her. He says she is an enormous asset to the operation and someone he knows he can count on.
“She took a building with a lot of issues and she corrected all those issues. A lot of the buildings we had problems with – all those problems are now corrected. There’s nothing I can tell her to do that she won’t do for us,” he said. “She’s a good leader and she means a lot to this company. I couldn’t be happier to have her.”